When I was a small child, we used to have a huge May Day celebration in school. We’d make construction-paper May baskets, fill them with flowers, and deliver them as surprise gifts by hanging them on someone’s door knob, ringing the bell, and running away–probably the only time that this childhood prank had a positive outcome. The school celebration also included an outdoor gathering where we sang and danced, including the dance in which we’d weave ribbons around the Maypole. What ever happened to this joyful celebration? I think it may have been cut in reaction to the big communist brouhaha on the first of May–or perhaps some parent objected the the holiday’s pagan origins.
Today the Puget Sound Revels presented a traditional May Day celebration in Tacoma’s lovely Wright Park. This group presents several performances and community events throughout the year, culminating in the very popular Christmas Revels. My neighbor Kay was in charge of this year’s floral brigade, and supervised the making of scores of floral crowns for the dancers–anyone who joined in the celebration was bedecked with flowers.
Singers from Puget Sound Revels led us in song and dance, including this lively drum line.
We sang several rounds of various traditional songs, with lots of references to the Green Wood, the Green Man, Summer is Icumen In, deer hunting, etc.
Of course, the day’s festivities concluded with the traditional May Pole dance. What started out as a bit of a knotted cluster ended up forming this lovely pattern on the pole.
A Hey Nonny Nonny time was had by all. Thanks to the Revels crew for a lovely welcome to summer.